“Kathleen I love your articles and website. I have lived overseas several times through work, and now I want to retire overseas for many reasons. However, my wife doesn’t want to…because of her job, her parents, and the fact that she just doesn’t want to.
“We have two kids, and the kids could easily adapt. I have tried all types of angles, but to no avail. Any suggestions?”
— Steven B., United States
I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, dear reader, but, unless you’re ready to consider a change of marital status (and I’m not suggesting the idea), you may have to give up your retire overseas plans.
Years ago, a friend confided that he was in a similar situation. He’d dreamt his whole life of living in Paris. Now he was retired. He had the money. He was ready to leap.
But his wife would have no part of it.
“I can’t even convince her to try living in Paris for six months,” i remember him saying.
So he stayed put with her in the States.
The truth is, your children would adjust. Maybe your wife’s parents would come visit. And perhaps your wife could launch a new career in your new home overseas.
But if your wife doesn’t believe these things, you may not want to work too hard to change her mind.
“Thanks for the power of attorney information.
“A person definitely needs to know those kinds of things. The trouble is, when you don’t know what you don’t know, you can wind up in a mess. I know I don’t know much. But how many people really know how this works?
“Different countries probably have different policies that need to be researched when you buy property. I know, if you wait forever, you wind up waiting forever. But a person needs to be careful with any substantial investment.”
— Carol H., United States
At a certain point, dear reader, it’s a leap of faith. And it takes courage. You’ll never know everything you need to know. Learning and discovering more every day is a big part of the attraction of this live and invest overseas idea, I believe.
Do your research, due diligence, and scouting. Take counsel from others who’ve done what you’re considering doing. And then go for it. As I report often, in nearly 25 years covering this beat, I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s regretted his (or her) move overseas.
I’ve met many, on the other hand, who regret that they didn’t jump sooner. They kick themselves for having spent so much time planning…and worrying.
Ready, fire, aim.
“Just curious as to how you would compare Antigua, Guatemala, and David, Panama. I am debating between the two.”
— Sue G., United States
Antigua is perhaps the best-preserved Spanish-colonial city in the Americas. The entire place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s famous for its architecture (especially its Santa Catalina arch) and its central plaza. The city is a picture-postcard lovely.
David is a non-descript town most famous locally for its PriceSmart. It’s a travel hub and the center of business for this Chiriqui region of Panama.
Romance versus practicality.
“Every time reading your letters makes me feel excited. I believe I’ll go forward as soon as I decide on my retirement. I’m 52, and my husband is 60.
“One day I shared my excitement about Mexico with a colleague, and he responded: ‘Mexico? Kidnapping is a way of life in Mexico, and they will never give up. Even the U.S. government issued a warning regarding traveling there.’
“Do you know about kidnapping in Mexico from your insiders? How dangerous is it really?”
— Lina N., Canada
New Mexico Correspondent Glen Michel replies:
“Reports of our kidnapping and beheading by a Mexican drug cartel have been greatly exaggerated by the U.S. media.
“We are now in our third year living with great comfort and pleasure in Ensenada, Baja California, some 70 miles south of the dreaded border city of Tijuana. About 10 times a year, we travel the well-maintained and well-patrolled toll road north through Rosarito Beach and Playas de Tijuana to the city of Tijuana and the San Ysidro border crossing.
“Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito Beach are up-scale beachfront suburbs of Tijuana. As luxury living areas, they were favored by mid- and upper-level management of the drug industry. Once the Mexican army set up a roadblock on the main artery out of the city, the commute became a drag for the drug lords. They moved elsewhere.
“Yes, Mexico has a problem that is far from solved. It is a major highway for drug movement from throughout Central and South America to the world’s largest, most profitable market: the United States. But the violence is far removed from the beautiful Pacific coast area of northern Mexico. Even East Tijuana’s ‘war zone’ does not affect the border crossing area, and, again, its oceanfront suburbs are safe.”